Thursday, October 27, 2016

Tech Tip: How to Bulk Copy Share a Google Site

Do you use Google Sites with your students?  If not, I would highly recommend it.  You can use Google Sites to allow students to publish a digital portfolio to showcase their work, or to have them create a product or theory and market it. The possibilities are endless!  

As a Technology Integration Coach, I will use Google Sites for all of the 8th grade students to collect information to determine if they are proficient in technology literacy.  All students must complete a series of assignments that contains many skills that meet the NJTAPIN rubric. (A technology literacy in NJ.)

Since all of the students at my school are using G Suite for Education, I decided to have the 8th grade students, (about 300 students), showcase their work using Google Sites rather than using a template in Google Slides.  The purpose, to expose them to another app other than Drive. 

My process:  I created a template for the digital portfolio using Google Sites, then I created a spreadsheet with their account information which included their first and last names, and email address.  Then, I installed a Google Sheet add-on called SiteMaestro, which allows you to bulk copy share a Google Site with a roster of students.

The SiteMaestro add-on takes all of the students who are listed in the spreadsheet and it creates a new Google Site, renames it, and shares it accordingly. At this point, the students will see the digital portfolio template listed under the Sites app, and they will also receive an email notification that a site was shared/created.  At this point, they will be able to modify it to include my requirements. 

A convenient feature is the spreadsheet I created will contain a link to all of the student websites, so that I can easily access them.  In addition, all of the Google Sites that were created using the add-on, will be listed under my Google Sites list.  However, this can be cumbersome for me because I have so many students, so in my case, I created another G Suite for Education account just for this purpose. This will prevent my account to become flooded with student's sites.

I found this add-on to be a life saver!  I was so impressed with it, I decided to create a screen cast of the process.  I hope you find it helpful. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 20, 2016

A Sweet Update for G Suite

Posted: 19 Oct 2016 11:04 AM PDT
(Cross-posted from the The Keyword

One of the core promises of Google Docs is to help you and your team go from collecting ideas to achieving your goals as quickly and easily as possible. That’s why last month we launched Explore in Docs, Sheets and Slides — with machine intelligence built right in — to help your team create amazing presentations, spreadsheets and documents in a fraction of the time it used to take.

Today, we’re introducing five new time-saving features designed to speed up and simplify the way you work, so you can focus on bringing your team’s ideas to life.

1. Spend less time figuring out who owns what with Action Items

According to research by the McKinsey Global Institute, employees spend about 20 percent of their work week — nearly an entire day — searching for details internally and tracking down colleagues for answers. This can be especially true when a document is full of ideas, requests and comments, making it difficult to get a clear sense of who’s responsible for what.

To help keep your projects moving, when you type phrases like “Ryan to follow up on the keynote script,” or “Andrea to schedule a weekly check in” on desktop, Docs will intelligently suggest an Action Item to assign to the right person, thanks to Natural Language Processing (NLP).

You can also manually assign an Action Item to someone in the Docs, Sheets and Slides desktop and mobile apps by mentioning their name in a comment and checking the new Action Item box. The assignee will get an email notification and see the Action Item(s) clearly highlighted with a blue bar when they open the file.

2. Spend less time searching for the files that need attention

Once Action Items have been assigned, it’s easy for team members to identify documents, spreadsheets and presentations that need their attention. The next time they visit Docs, Sheets, Slides (or Drive) from their laptops or mobile apps, they’ll see a badge on any files with Action Items assigned to them, plus any unresolved suggestions that others have made to their files.

3. Spend less time building questions with smarter Forms

Since its launch in 2008, more than a billion questions have been asked in Forms, allowing us to identify common patterns, like question types and the response options that usually go with them. With the help of neural networks, we can now predict the type of question you’re asking and suggest potential responses for you to choose from, giving you back about 25 percent of the time you used to spend creating a Form.

Let’s say you’re planning an all-day event at the office and need to know which day works best for your team. When you type “What days are you available next week?” Forms will intelligently determine that “Checkbox” is the ideal question type, and generate related response options that you can add one by one or all together.

Also debuting today is a top-requested feature from our business and education customers — the new “File upload” question type. Your respondents can now upload files from their computer or Drive — all of which are neatly collected for you in a new Drive folder. Note: This feature is only available for G Suite customers in Forms shared within their organization.

4. Spend less time typing with a set of new voice commands

Last year, we launched Voice typing in Docs on the web to help you capture ideas, big and small, without lifting a finger. Today, we’re adding more ways to format and customize content with commands for changing text color, deleting words, inserting links and comments, plus a number of other ways to format, hands-free.

5. Spend less time switching between apps to get things done

We want you to be as productive and collaborative as possible, regardless of the tools you choose to work with, so we’ve partnered with Slack to make it even easier to work with Google Docs files. With a click of the "+" button in Slack, you can bring files from Drive directly into a conversation with your team, or create new Docs, Sheets and Slides files right from Slack. You can check out more details on Slack’s blog.

With the introduction of Explore, and more and more updates to products that build in machine intelligence, taking back time spent on mundane, repetitive tasks will only get easier with G Suite. Now, you can focus your energy on creative and strategic work, not busy work.

Launch Details
Release track:
  • Launching to both Rapid release and Scheduled release
    • Assigned action items
    • Priority badges
    • Voice typing improvements
    • Slack integration
  • Launching to Rapid release, with Scheduled release coming on November 2nd, 2016
    • Suggested action items
    • Suggested response options in Forms
  • Launching to Rapid release, with Scheduled release coming on November 9th, 2016
    • File uploads in Forms
Available to all G Suite editions

Rollout pace:
Gradual rollout (potentially longer than 3 days for feature visibility)

All end users

Change management suggested/FYI

More Information
Help Center: Add, edit, reply, or delete comments
Help Center: Edit your form
Help Center: Type with your voice
Slack Blog

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Exploring the Explore Tool

The NEW Explore Tool

In Google Docs, the Research tool has dramatically changed. First, it is now called Explore and many popular features are not available any more such as the citation and link features.  For more information on the new changes and to alternative options, refer to the table  below.

Still available Changed

- Search for content
- Search for images
- Personal is now changed to Drive

- Insert citations for links, websites and preview are not available.
- Insert image citations appear under the image, as shown.
- Image citations do not appear at the bottom of the Google document as a footer.
- To insert a link into a Google doc, you must drag and drop it into the document

- Scholar, Quotes, Dictionary
- Citation Format, MLA, APA, Chicago
-Search image filters
are not available
Extensions: Cite This For Me
Google Doc Add-on: EasyBib

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Page Numbers available on Table of Contents in Google Docs

Posted: 05 Oct 2016 10:47 AM PDT
The table of contents in Google Docs makes it easy to organize and navigate long and complex documents. Starting today, you have the option to include page numbers in these tables, a frequent request from Google Apps customers. To do so, simply select the numbered option when inserting a table of contents from the Insert menu.

Launch Details
Release track:
Launching to Rapid release, with Scheduled release coming in two weeks

Rollout pace:
Full rollout (1–3 days for feature visibility)

All end users

Change management suggested/FYI

More Information
Help Center: Add a title, heading, or table of contents in a document

Note: all launches are applicable to all G Suite editions unless otherwise noted

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Tech Tip: Read & Write for Google


Purpose: The Read & Write Chrome extension, is available in the Chrome Web store, provides assistance in reading content on a Google document. The Screenshot Reader Chrome extension will allow you to capture a section of the text and read it aloud. It also allows you to create voice comments in a Google document.

Read & Write for Chrome is FREE for teachers!

Voice Comments - Easy as 1-2-3:
  • Select the text you want to leave a comment on.
  • Click the Voice Note Button from the Read & Write Toolbar
  • Click the ‘Mic’ button to record up to 1 minute
  • Click the ‘Stop’ button, then ‘Insert’
  • Your comment will now be inserted as a link and can now be heard when you click the ‘Play’ button

toolbar R&W.png

Other Toolbar Options:
  • Word Prediction - will display a list of predicted words, read aloud
  • Dictionary - will read aloud the definition of the word and highlight it as it is read
  • Image Dictionary - click and drag the image into the document
  • Play - Read aloud and highlights the text as it is read
  • Screenshot reader-  crop out a certain portion of the content, it will read aloud and highlight
  • Speech Maker - Highlight the contents and it will download an audible file to your computer
  • Screen Mask - uses a bar to help with concentration and reading the content
  • Speech Input same as Google Voice typing
  • Translate tool
  • Highlighting tools
    • Clear all highlighting on the document
    • Collect Highlights - sorts information according to the color of the highlight marker
  • Vocabulary list - creates a new document of your keywords
  • Voice Note